Text “Iroha” (The author unknown but the poem has links to Kukai AKA Kobo Daishi)
Iroha is an well-known Japanese poem that can be interpreted in many ways and some of those ways depend on whether it is read in the ancient Japanese text, in modern Japanese, or in English. Most Japanese people now cannot read the original text and as a result they lose some of the depth of the text
The poem in translation:
Although its scent still lingers on
the form of a flower has scattered away
For whom will the glory
of this world remain unchanged?
Arriving today at the yonder side
of the deep mountains of evanescent existence
We shall never allow ourselves to drift away
intoxicated, in the world of shallow dreams.
Abe, Ryuichi (1999). The Weaving of Mantra: Kûkai and the Construction of Esoteric Buddhist Discourse. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11286-6.
To what extent is a reader of the poem in translation justified in interpreting the text in way that diverges from the poem Japanese religious and cultural roots?
How are good and bad interpretations of poetry distinguished?
Check this page for additional information on the key words and phrases in this prescribed title.